Germany's heparin supply shows signs of contamination

WASHINGTON Baxter’s supply of heparin, which was recently discovered to be contaminated, may not be the only contaminated doses being used in the world, according to the Associated Press.

Dialysis patients in Germany have gotten sick after using a version of the blood thinner manufactured by a German company called RotexMedica GmbH. In reaction to this, the Food and Drug Administration has urged all U.S. suppliers of heparin to start using high-tech tests to make sure their products are free of the contaminant.

“We’re concerned about, worldwide, this contaminant in heparin and making sure it stays out of the heparin supply,” the FDA’s chief medical officer, Janet Woodcock, said. “With this testing method, there’ll be a way to protect the heparin supply.” The contaminant has caused allergic-type problems with breathing and low blood pressure.

Baxter’s rival, APP Pharmaceuticals remains contaminant-free and is now the sole maker of the injections.

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